Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental disorder that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or life-threatening event. Examples of such events include military combat, sexual assault, a natural disaster, or an automobile accident. PTSD can affect both men and women, and it can affect children as well as adults. It can be acute, which means the symptoms fade after six months or less, or it can be chronic and last years. No matter the extent of your condition, PTSD training may be able to help you.
What are the symptoms?
Most people develop symptoms of PTSD shortly after the traumatic event, but some patients don’t start showing symptoms until months or years after the traumatic event. While the symptoms can vary from patient to patient, they fall into four broad categories:
1) Hypervigilance and/or hyperarousal. The patient is always on edge or on high alert for threats. They are jittery and nervous. They may have trouble sleeping or concentrating. They can be irritable or easily angered, and they may become prone to such unhealthy behaviors as smoking or drinking to excess.
2) Reliving the event. Many patients with PTSD suffer nightmares. Some people even have flashbacks in which they think the event is happening again.
3) Increased negative feelings and beliefs. The patient may feel shame or guilt over the trauma, even if they intellectually know the event wasn’t their fault. They may lose the ability to trust others and decide the world is too dangerous. The patient may become depressed or emotionally numb, and they might lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.
4) Avoidance behavior. The patient may start trying to avoid places, people or activities that remind them of the trauma, even if they used to enjoy them. Similarly, they might refuse to talk about the event.
Does a child’s age make a difference?
Yes. A child’s age can affect the way the symptoms of PTSD manifest themselves. Children who are twelve and up tend to have symptoms similar those of adult patients. They may become withdrawn or reckless, and they can develop depression and/or anxiety.
Children between seven and eleven years old might start having problems with schoolwork and/or friends, and they may want to avoid school altogether. They can become aggressive and irritable and may have nightmares. Some may obsessively relive the trauma through play, stories or artwork.
Children who are six or younger may become extremely fearful and upset if their parents aren’t nearby. They may also relive the trauma in their play, and they may have difficulty sleeping. Children this age may also show regressive behavior like wetting the bed when they are old enough to be toilet-trained. Some children also lose the ability to speak.
How can PTSD training help?
We offer PTSD training with neurofeedback. This is a comfortable process that involves retraining the brain to react more positively during triggering situations. Neurofeedback is an effective form of training, and it helps many patients regain control of their lives. Located in Windermere, the Advanced Health and Performance Institute is ready to deliver comprehensive training to patients in the Orlando and surrounding areas. If you are interested in learning more about how PTSD training can help you, contact us today to schedule your consultation.